July 3, 2022

Finance & Economy

Let's Talk About Investment

Applications now open for Moline’s child care loan program

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Local child care providers can apply for $10,000 to $50,000 loans to help improve the quality and availability of daycare. Applications will close on July 31.

MOLINE, Ill. — Applications are now open for Moline’s new child care loan program, which aims to expand the number and quality of available child care spots. Child care providers can apply for loans ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. 

The application can be found here, and is open to either new or existing providers. Applications will be considered monthly, until July 31. 

Priority will be awarded to providers that offer non-traditional hours, especially those with second and third shift options, and/or overnight and weekend availabilities, as well as care centers that care for toddlers, infants and children with special needs. 

The purpose of the loan is to help expand and support local child care programs, with the goal of reinvigorating the local workforce. 

“Child care options are a crucial part of our workforce infrastructure,” said Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati, in a statement on the city’s website. “In order for our labor force to grow back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond, we need people to get back to work and to meet them where their needs are, whether that’s increasing available slots or expanding the hours of operation.” 

Moline was awarded just over $20 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds from the federal government. In late January, city leaders voted to dedicate $500,000 of those dollars toward the new ARPA Childcare/Workforce Infrastructure Enhancements Forgivable Loan Program. 

Funds from these loans may be used to purchase equipment, including cribs, toys, books and highchairs; pay for staff training and applicable start-up costs; and for necessary building modifications required to meet government regulations regarding safety and accessibility. The money may not be used to pay the wages of staff. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Moline’s child care availability fell by 50 slots, thanks to the loss of six home-based providers. City Alderman Matt Timion views child care as an infrastructure issue. 

“If the road is out by my house, I can’t get to work. If electricity is out, I can’t get to work,” Timion said. “But likewise, if there are no childcare options, parents can’t get to work. So these things are not disconnected at all.”

With the new loans, he hopes current providers not only stay in business, but also consider expanding. 

“It’s as simple as supplies, toys, books, making things ADA compliant. There’s a lot of really good things. Just relieving rent or mortgage payments for a while, so that they can keep that extra person on staff.”

More information can be found about the loans, as well as the application form, on the city’s website